Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks, hasn’t it just??
When I started off this year, never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be spending at least three months of it confined to our homes, and that my studio would be being turned into a makeshift classroom for my three children: as I changed my job title from photographer to full time teacher of three little lunatics.
As we make our way into June, and plans are in place to start opening businesses again all over the country, I’m now turning my attention to what this will look like for me as a studio photographer. It’s a plan I’ve been wrestling with; and am keen to make sure I follow the safest plan of action. Much as I am DESPERATE to photograph your families, I need to ensure that I can only do this in a way that keeps people safe.
What Does the Current Advice Permit?
At the moment, not a lot. I could operate doorstep family portraits from the street, and that’s about it. However, as more and more people are being advised to return to work, my opportunities to be allowed to shoot again open up.
Technically, from June, I can begin to do limited work as long as I can guarantee social distancing. From July, as long as we have not stalled or gone backwards in the lockdown exit strategy, I should be able to operate again: within reason.
This week, I have began to make plans for a “new normal” to ensure safety.
What Does the New Normal Look Like?
Location Sessions Now Booking
From June I will readily be accepting location sessions, in and around Devon. These will be set at a one price for one package option. To keep costs down, I will be offering these at a set price of £149 for a 45 minute session, with all of your fully edited, digital images. These sessions will take place in a local location that I will pre-approve to ensure social distancing is easily achieved.
I will be strictly operating the recommended 2 metre distancing guidelines.
If you’d like to book one of these, get in touch.
I know that location sessions will not be preferable for many: especially those with young babies who are desperate to capture some newborn or baby photos!
I have been racking my brains as to how I can ensure baby safety and still be able to offer studio photography.
Therefor, I will be able to offer a form of studio photography, but with very strict regulations in operation.
A very limited number of sessions
To reduce exposure, I will not be accepting more than two sessions per week.
A new session length, a new session style
All sessions will be for now limited to around an hour. I know that this will not always be fully achievable for newborn sessions, but it does mean that I will try to move through sessions quickly and efficiently to ensure for as reduced exposure as possible. Prices have also changed as a happy consequence!
Additionally, and perhaps one of my biggest challenges, I will be trying to maintain as little physical contact as possible. To enable me to do this, the emphasis on my studio sessions will be on unposed images. The studio has been undergoing a little makeover to enable this. This means there will be an increased focus on parents and sibling images, and I’ll be asking for your help to pose your little ones! Don’t worry, images will still be absolutely beautiful, and will still be able to give you those beautiful, natural images that I have always prided myself on. Luckily, this isn’t a huge variation of my usual style anyway!
With a little help from you, this means I can respect the 2 metre social distancing guidelines for your session. With the extra hygiene and air filtering methods I’ve also put in place (see below) this will also help me to ensure safety.
Only your family, please.
I’m sorry, but the only people that will be allowed in to the studio will be parents and children. this means no grandparents, aunties and uncles or dogs: sorry!
Health and Hygiene: My Bit
I have been stocking up on industrial amounts of cleaning products. Before and after every session (no exceptions) the studio will receive a deep clean. Not only will all surfaces, door handles, furniture, etc be cleaned to within an inch of it’s life; all fabrics will be washed and disinfected between every session.
I have purchased the worldwide industry leading air purifier, which claims to automatically filter out bacteria from the air as well as pollutants.
I will be wearing a mask for the entire session. I’ve ordered a selection of pretty ones that hopefully won’t be too unnerving for young children: which will be washed after every session. On top of this, I will of course be regularly washing and disinfecting my hands: I today purchased an industrial sized bottle of alcohol gel!
Health and Hygiene
Of course, I can do all of these things, but I also require your help. To ensure the safety of you and your family, other clients, as well my own family and myself: I need you to do your bit too.
This is why I’ll be asking that for now, nothing is brought into the studio other than you and your family. This means no car seats, bags, other clothing, etc. Of course, if your little one needs changing, I am more than happy for you to retrieve anything you need.
Furthermore, you will be asked to wash your hands before and after your session: and hand sanitiser is also readily available for during your session.
If you’ve already booked a session
If you have a session booked in, there are multiple options available to you.
If you want to go ahead with session, with the proposed changes in operation, that’s great with me. Alternatively, if you wanted to rebook your session for a later date; swap your session to a location session; or cancel your session all together: this is all OK with me. I will not be charging for cancellations or changes of dates. There are also some price reductions due to the changes of length and new measures.
How Long Will The new Measures Last?
Honestly, I don’t know. I do not foresee me dramatically changing the new normal for the foreseeable future, whilst there are still risks to the public. Whilst the changes will see some challenges: I would rather face those challenges than to risk anyone’s safety.
Also, it’s really important to know that this can change at any time. If the government renews lockdown or makes the guidelines stricter: sessions can and will be cancelled. Government advice is changing all the time: so as guidelines change and are clarified, I will need to ensure that I work well within this. I am currently trying to operate under an err of caution: and am definitely aiming to operate on a ‘worse case scenario’ basis!
As I said at the beginning, I can not wait to start seeing all of your beautiful families again, when we are all safe to do so!
Please, look after yourselves, look after each other, and be safe!
Jodie x x x
Please note: studio sessions were taken before lockdown, and other images are of my own children.